Comprehensive Women's Health
Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Birmingham, MI & Oxford, MI
Polycystic ovary syndrome affects about one in every 10 American women of reproductive age. If you believe you’re part of this population, Comprehensive Women’s Health and Dr. Lana Powell can offer evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. The practice has locations in Birmingham and Oxford, Michigan. Call either location to schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns about polycystic ovary syndrome, or book an appointment using the online tool.
PCOS Q & A
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a result of an imbalance of hormones. Women with PCOS have unusually high levels of androgens, or male sex hormones, and often too much insulin, a hormone that helps your body convert glucose into energy. These hormone irregularities negatively affect the function of your ovaries, the organs where your eggs are stored and mature each month.
The hormone imbalances can lead to physical changes, such as excess hair, weight gain, and infertility. The condition may also show up as cysts on your ovaries.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Infertility is one sign of PCOS, but it isn’t the only one. Other symptoms include:
- Irregular periods, the absence of periods, or heavy periods
- Pelvic pain
- Weight gain and problems losing excess weight
- Patches of dark skin, especially in your folds such as on the neck or under the breasts
- Hair in places that men usually have hair, such as on the face
If you have these symptoms, contact the providers at Comprehensive Women’s Health to be evaluated for PCOS. Gone unmanaged, PCOS puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, among other health issues.
How is polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosed?
If you come into Comprehensive Women’s Health with symptoms that suggest PCOS, the providers first perform a physical exam and discuss your symptoms, general health, and family history. You’ll undergo a pelvic exam to look for symptoms that suggest an excess of male hormones, such as an enlarged clitoris, and to check your ovaries for swelling. An ultrasound to look for cysts and blood tests help further confirm the diagnosis.
How is PCOS treated?
PCOS cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be managed. Women with PCOS who have trouble getting pregnant have a good chance of conceiving with symptom management and medical support, too.
If you aren’t trying to get pregnant, hormonal birth control such as the pill, IUDs, and vaginal ring can help make your menstrual cycle more regular, improve symptoms such as acne and excess hair, and lower your risk of endometrial cancer. Anti-androgen medications can help reduce symptoms, too, but are contraindicated with pregnancy.
If you have PCOS but want to get pregnant, your first step is to lose weight if you’re overweight. This can help regulate your cycle and reduce symptoms. Medications, such as Clomid, can help you ovulate and conceive. If fertility medications are unsuccessful, you can pursue in-vitro fertilization.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of PCOS, call Comprehensive Women’s Health, or book an appointment online.
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